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“Beautiful historic hotel, worth a visit” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Fairmont Empress

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The Fairmont Empress
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   721 Government Street, Victoria, British Columbia V8W 1W5, Canada   |  
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Ranked #17 of 58 Hotels in Victoria
GreenLeadersGold level
Blacksburg, Virginia
Top Contributor
107 reviews 107 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Beautiful historic hotel, worth a visit”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2013

Front desk, housekeeping and everyone else encountered were top notch. My room was a bit disappointing...had gabled windows which led to awkward ceiling and room configuration. Only there for 2 nights and had a great time exploring the harbor.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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2,023 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (581)
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2013

Staturesque beauty, wonderful dining rooms and rooms for hosting events. Just magnificent

Never seem to have a good in room experience though. This time had a room at end of a cavernous hall near elevator - awakened by EVERYONE who walked the hall till about 2 in the morining. Room OK, bedding light - was cold.

Gym OK - not the greatest set up -- 2 people would have difficult using weight area at same time

Room service - in take guy not the friendlist - but food was delish - chef called to clarify order - he rocks.

Scouting this place out for a corporate meeting - just not sure given the average room experience and the poor sleep experience.

Room Tip: don't know - never had a great one yet
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FairmontEmpress1908, General Manager at The Fairmont Empress, responded to this review, December 3, 2013
Dear Valued Guest from Toronto,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. I was happy to hear that you found the hotel to have statuesque beauty, wonderful dining rooms and rooms for hosting events. I was however sorry to hear that your stay was not as memorable as we would like. We strive to provide the best experience and customer service that guests have come to expect of Fairmont Hotels. We are aways very happy to move you into a room that is more confortable. Please do not hestitate to ask in the future. Thank you again for sharing the feedback. We hope we can welcome you back in the future.

Kind regards,

Don Fennerty
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, AB
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2013

I had a perfect weekend - and the Fairmont had a great deal to do with it. Check in was quick and efficient, we were pleasantly surprised to be upgraded to a deluxe room. Since we were celebrating a special occasion, we got a card for a free dessert, which we used at the Bengal Lounge (absolutely fantastic)!

The room itself was quite spacious, the bed was up a couple steps and separated from the sitting area. Two TV's were available - not that we used them as we were busy exploring. The pool area was nice - there's a children's dipping pool, a lane swimming pool and a decent hot tub. We went for high tea - it's true that the price is a bit steep at $50 / person, but we had coupons so it wasn't that bad. It's definitely an experience I would recommend doing at least once.

My only quibble is that parking was very expensive, even on a Friday. That's standard fare for downtown Fairmonts. We parked in a nearby parkade.

Every interaction we had with the staff was excellent. Everyone was very friendly on multiple visits to the desk, and always tried to help us out as best they could.

I would not hesitate to return!

Room Tip: We had a deluxe room - very spacious, and a decent city view. Go for the harbour view if this is you...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2013

From the first encounter, the majesty of the Fairmont Empress was not lost on anyone who walks in the front doors. The manager welcomed our group personally and took great care of all of our details. Housekeeping was kind and considerate to so many of us.
This is a beautiful heritage building that is a treat to stay in, so it is beautiful, but certainly can be loud and drafty. Bring a sweater!!!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mission, Canada
Top Contributor
100 reviews 100 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2013

This hotel was on my 'bucket' list. You arrive at the entrance, lots of valet to help with anything you need. Bit surprised with using the elevator that you didn't need your room key to access your floor - just press the button. At least it had a room safe. Room was small but nice. Bed was close to the door so you could hear everyone in the hallway. Paid an extra $100 for a view of the harbour, and that's exactly what you get. Room had no 'extra niceties' (like free bottled water, etc.). Bathroom is ordinary. It is an old, beautiful hotel and nice to try it at least once. Was not impressed at all with the food in the Bengal Lounge, or the breakfast in the dining room. Ordered soup in the lounge as it was a cold night and asked if it would be hot - of course! Unfortunately arrived lukewarm. Had pancakes for breakfast - they looked great but were so doughy I could hardly swallow any. But, again, an absolutely beautiful room.

Room Tip: If you like a view, the $100 for a harbour view room is worth it.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2013

Everything you want and would expect in a grand old hotel - wonderful character, impeccable service, clean and quiet rooms and comfortable beds.
i accompanied my husband on business; it was a wonderful location for me to explore the downtown area while he went off to work. unfortunately, there is not a great selection on the TV - no extra cable except for sports and business channels

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FairmontEmpress1908, General Manager at The Fairmont Empress, responded to this review, December 3, 2013
Dear Valued Guest from Calgary,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a great review on Tripadvisor of your recent stay with us. I am so pleased to hear that we were able to provide you with the service that The Fairmont Empress is so well known for. I hope you had the opportunity to enjoy a city tour of Victoria and see all that our city has to offer. Thank you again for taking the time to write a review. We look forward to welcoming you back to The Fairmont Empress when your travels bring you to Victoria again.

Kind regards,

Don Fennerty
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
222 reviews 222 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2013

Stayed for two nights with the compulsory valet parking. Were welcomed yet processed at the reception desk by a member of staff that struggled to smile at us and seemed cunfused that we were not booked in as a Mr & Mrs. Bad start already. Our room was 195 which was miles from reception and a good five minute walk. Signage to rooms in this hotel is terrible. But to reception from rooms is non existant. Seriously, wrong turns every time we needed to leave the hotel. On the way to our room on arrival I was carrying my pack and came round the corner to our room and were met by an arrogant room maid who had blocked the walkway with her trolley. She could see me, and yet refused to move her trolley. I ended up shifting it with my pack in the end.
Just a catalogue of horrible experiences before even getting into our room. Our room was clean, spacious, outdated in decor and looked out onto the conference area of the hotel. Dull, and that was an upgrade we were told! Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick must have stayed at this hotel. Take a walk up and down any of the corridors and you will feel like your in The Shining. Somewhere on our travels, we were advised to walk around the famous hotel and explore it. We did so. It's full of conference and function rooms and for an establishment famed for it's character left us uninspired.

Room Tip: Choose a room you can find!!
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Fairmont Empress

Address: 721 Government Street, Victoria, British Columbia V8W 1W5, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver Island > Victoria Capital Regional District > Victoria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Victoria
#8 Luxury Hotel in Victoria
#10 Spa Hotel in Victoria
#13 Business Hotel in Victoria
#14 Romantic Hotel in Victoria
#17 Family Hotel in Victoria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Fairmont Empress 4*
Number of rooms: 477
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Fairmont Empress sits majestically at the cornerstone of Victoria's sparkling Inner Harbour. This landmark hotel features turn of the century architecture, classic beauty and an unrivaled location on the water. It features the highly acclaimed Willow Stream Spa regarded as one of the best spas in Canada. Food lovers can sample the English ritual of Afternoon Tea, savour the famous curry buffet in The Bengal Lounge or sample award-winning food and wine in The Empress Room. The Fairmont Empress offers wireless internet access in all guestrooms, and it is complimentary for our Fairmont President's Club members, free to join. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Fairmont Empress Hotel Victoria
Fairmont Hotel Victoria
Fairmont Hotel Empress
Empress Hotel Victoria
Fairmont Victoria
Victoria Fairmont
Fairmont Empress Hotel

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